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Rouhani: Not even the first Shiite imam was this strict

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is criticizing the Guardian Council for disqualifying parliamentary candidates for "non-adherence to Islam."

One day after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei indirectly approved a massive disqualification of aspiring parliamentary candidates, President Hassan Rouhani showed he is not retreating from his attempts to fill Iran’s next parliament with like-minded allies.

The Guardian Council disqualified more than half of the 12,000 candidates who registered to run in the February parliamentary elections and only qualified 1% of the 3,000 Reformist candidates who registered. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of the council, said he would not budge under pressure to reinstate them. A council spokesman said some candidates were not approved because of previous disqualifications, unreliable education credentials and open court cases. Other candidates, including clerics, were disqualified for “non-adherence” to Islam and to the Islamic Republic.

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